Immediately, I began my prison escape plan.
When I somehow managed to take off one earring with one hand, a brilliant diamond sparkled in my hand.
“My baby… I’m sorry for being a terrible mother.”
I held back my tears and began to scratch the thinnest ring of the handcuffs with the pointed part of the diamond.
The relatively thin handcuffs could be undone somehow with this, but those heavy locks seemed too thick for my pretty baby.
Fortunately, the sentry guard looked rather foolish.
Looking at the situation, it seemed that my identity was not known to the guards.
They whispered among themselves and made various guesses as if they were curious about my identity.
No one seemed to be able to relate me to the Duke of Baloa because I didn’t even have my monocle.
I thought it would be faster to target him than other guards who seemed to have more experience.
With my skirt covering one of my handcuffs, I called the guard carefully.
“Excuse me. Excuse me! Sir?”
The guard, who turned around after I called out several times, looked at me with anxious eyes.
I smiled broadly, wearing a treacherous smile for the first time in a while.
I smiled while a lot of straws were sticking out of my hair, so I must have looked crazy, but I had to try anything.
“What’s your name, Sir?”
“M, my name?”
The guard asked back in a trembling voice like a goat.
“Yes, your name. Name.”
“W, why are you asking?”
The guard backed away in utter fright.
People would think I’m a caged beast.
However, I did not give up and smiled as hard as I could.
Then I spoke in a gentle tone, the one I usually use when it comes to business.
“You’re an invaluable person who works for the country, so I can’t help but want to know your name.”
The guard’s stiff shoulders gradually relaxed from my gentle tone.
As expected, my sales voice is not dead yet.
“Sir Sam, thank you for your hard work today.”
I chinned at the iron bars.
“It must be tiresome to guard me who has no way to escape.”
“It’s all right. It’s my job. It’s nothing.”
“I’ll talk to you so that you won’t be bored.”
Sam scratched the back of his head.
“You don’t have to…….”
I ignored Sam’s comment and began babbling rapidly.
“No, well, listen. It’s not because I’m a bad person that I’m stuck in a dungeon like this…….”
That’s how my long story began.
As a young girl who had to make a lot of money for her mother who is unable get out of bed due to an incurable disease, I succeeded in amassing a huge fortune with my excellent business skills, but my mother died just before I was able to develop a cure with that money, and her last will was for me to help weak and helpless people like her.
By the time I finished speaking, Sam was sobbing.
“Huehuek. You just need to develop a new drug. God is indifferent……! Ugh! I didn’t know you had this story and thought you were a witch…….”
I waved my hand, cursing Cardan hard inside.
“Haha, there’s no witch in this world these days.”
“There is no way that a witch is so filial……. Huehuek.”
I forcibly squeezed out my tears and nodded my head.
“With that utmost filial piety, I started running a nursery to follow my mother’s will. I only thought about raising this nursery with all the wealth I’d collected. I didn’t even think about taxes……!”
When I held my breath for dramatic effect, Sam also held his breath.
“Like this, I am now waiting for the day of my execution.”
I whispered, lowering my voice.
“You know Sir Sam. You know how strict His Majesty is when it comes to collecting taxes to maintain his luxurious lifestyle.”
Not long ago, I was the one who diligently collected taxes, but I left it out.
“I know. I know. I heard about it on the streets. Every day, if His Majesty doesn’t have anything that catches his interest, there were rumors that he will execute someone for fun instead.”
I haven’t seen it yet, but when I looked back at the emperor’s setting in the original, it seemed like a story that would have seemed plausible.
“Anyway, I’m really sad too, Sir Sam. The kids will be hungry waiting for me to come back……! Huheuk…”
Sam burst into tears, biting his fist.
“I don’t mind being executed. It’s all good! It’s a felony not to pay taxes, so it’s worth dying for! But!”
I clung to the iron bars and cried hard.
“Just for a half day! I want to let them know where the properties I hid are.”
“I will! I will go and let them know! Where is it, the nursery?”
For a moment, I almost acted out of character because of Sam.
What good is it if you go? It’s me that should get out of here first.
“Well, you see, it’s hidden in such a complicated place that no one can ever find it unless I go there myself.”
I began to wail as I hit my chest.
“Oh, my! Oh, my God! If only I could stay out for a few hours, I would come back with my own feet and happily wait for the day of my execution. Those poor children are going to starve to death without any money.”
I glanced at Sam. To the thick set of keys around his waist, to be exact.
“Is there any good person who can open the door for me….?”
At my desperate voice, Sam flinched his hand and touched the keys.
“Well, are you really coming back?”
“Of course! A sin is sin, so of course I’ll come back to pay for it. It’s just those poor children…….”
“If you don’t believe me, you can follow me!”
Once I get out of the palace, it’s a piece of cake to get rid of a fool.
Sam sighed and began to reach for the key, as if he had gained faith in my words.
“You have to promise to come back before my watch is over.”
Sam’s hips twitched while he was looking for the key to fit the lock.
“By the way, I have the key for this lock, but I don’t have that handcuff key, what should I do?”
“Don’t worry about handcuffs.”
I grinned at my skirt.
“Because I’ve already undone it.”
Thanks to my steady grinding, I was able to undo the thinnest link.
“A, as expected, a witch……!”
I grabbed Sam’s hand in a hurry to reassure him as he turned pale.
“No! I guess I just gained superhuman strength at the thought of the children! At the thought of those poor children who would be starving!”
Sam, who changed his mind again at the sight of me crying nervously, finally found the key to the lock.
This time, I sincerely smiled brightly.
“Thank you very much, Sam! You’re such a nice person.”
My mistake was that I failed to notice the approaching steps in time.
In front of the prison, heavy footsteps stopped.
I looked at Cardan who appeared in front of us with stunned eyes.
Cardan, who threw a cloth into the furnace, approached Sam with his back against the high flames.
“Y, Your Majesty…!”
However, Cardan only took the key from Sam.
Sam ran away in a hurry.
In a situation where his life was on the line, he seemed to have forgotten the starving children.
The lock, which Sam held for a long time, was easily opened by Cardan’s hand.
I watched Cardan enter the prison with anxious eyes.
Cardan, who had not looked at me for a long time, stood close to me. His eerie red gaze fell on me.
I ended up closing my eyes tightly.
Even after leaving the basement, Erina’s image remained in his mind.
Her slender body, crouching on the cold stone floor and her trembling shoulders.
Even the clothes she’s wearing are not warm enough at all.
Cardan eventually picked up the blanket that was on his bedroom sofa.
“It’s a problem if she gets sick and dies before I reveal her crime.”
He turned towards where he came from, muttering such poor excuses.
As he went down the mossy stairs, he thought that he would have to add some ventilation vents to the dungeon.
While immersed in such thoughts, a familiar voice resonated cheerfully from the innermost prison where Erina was trapped.
“That’s why I went around selling fabrics from house to house at a young age. There was no house I hadn’t been to in the capital because I used to pile up this much fabric on a small cart. Every time I go back home I add a thick cloth every night to see how fast my shoes wear out. My blisters were this big.”
Without having to take a few steps, he could see Erina pushing her foot into the guard and drawing a large lump with her hand.
What the hell is that?
For now, he decided to watch Erina while hiding in the dark.
That’s how Cardan overheard Erina’s fictional life story.
From her sad story of taking care of her sick mother in vain, to her lies about the children from the nursery that didn’t even exist, to her gossip sprinkled like licorice in the middle.
He wondered if the Duke had gone mad because she couldn’t resist boredom while in prison.
“Just for a half day! I want to let them know where the properties I hid are.”
Erina revealed her true intentions.
The blanket in his hand crumpled terribly when he clenched his fist reflexively.
He still didn’t know what he wanted to do with the Duke, but one thing was clear.
Running away was absolutely unacceptable.
However, Erina was busy messing around with the knight with her three tongues.
When he saw Erina holding the hand of the guard who finally gave in as she smiled brightly as if she was a really good person, Cardan felt the last string of his patience cut off.
Before he even realized it, he was striding toward the two, placing the blanket into the furnace.